[aa_subtitle_display]It can feel easy to justify keeping a bad employee, but you’re hurting your business by doing so. You might not even realize exactly how much even one bad employee can affect the rest of your business – from relationships with clients, to lost productivity, to the culture of the entire company, one bad employee can have devastating consequences for your business.

There are different levels of bad employees. You might really like some of these employees as people – they may be lovely as a friend, but not-so-great in the workplace (they might be incompetent or underperforming.) They could also be downright toxic, letting their negativity bring the whole workplace down. Toxic employees are more obviously bad for business, but all levels of bad employees are hurting your corporate culture and productivity. There’s no such thing as a harmless bad employee, any of them could be costing you more than you realize.

A bad employee often isn’t productive. There can be a variety of reasons for this: he could be incompetent for the job, lazy, or distracted by his own bad habits. This isn’t surprising: a lack of productivity is one of the main reasons an employee can be bad. What is surprising is how much it can affect the rest of your team. Studies have shown that one bad employee can decrease the productivity of a group by 30 to 40 percent. Suddenly, you’re not dealing with one underperforming employee, you have an underperforming team. Other employees can be dragged down into a toxic employee’s negative vortex; a negative employee can create unnecessary drama and tension in the workplace, which makes a stressful environment to work in. Good, productive employees may just lose motivation when they see how an incompetent employee can coast on everyone else’s hard work.

Your business makes money through clients, so your clients are the business’ lifeblood. Do you have a bad employee dealing directly with clients? Think of your employees as ambassadors of your business; are they representing the culture and values for which your business stands? A toxic employee’s negative attitude can be apparent to clients, which will taint their impression of the company. Bad employees are more likely to make mistakes, which can upset clients and cost your business money to correct the issue.

Bad employees cost your business big-time. Between decreased productivity, damaged client relationships, and the loss of the culture you’ve worked to foster, a bad employee can cost you more than you know. The best way to avoid bad employees is to hire the right people in the first place, but you may be able to turn a bad situation around by letting the bad employee go – in the right way. Work with your human resources team, or, if your company doesn’t have one, a PEO that can help you to avoid all of the risks of ending a worker’s employment.

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